SF Weekly's Anna Roth takes aim at six-week-old Pläj where chef Roberth Sundell fuses Californian and Nordic influences with mixed results: "Some of the most revelatory dishes are the most traditional" (salmon belly gravlax, Swedish meatballs), and "seamless fusion" shows up in the desserts and cocktails. All told, it's "a toddler in restaurant time" that "has enough details that should guide it to its greater vision." [SF Weekly]
The Hirsch Burst is sad that Fana Alemayehu has tamed the spice at her new location of Moya, but some things hang on to the flavor: "The tender, buttery chicken dish doro tibs...radiated intensity. Flavored with jalapeños and berbere — a lavish, peppery spice blend — this dish matched my fondest remembrances of past Ethiopian meals...I couldn’t get enough of Moya’s tangy injera, an Ethiopian staple. Plus the prices were more than fair." He still longs for the old Moya: "the one that trusted we could handle the intense and the unfamiliar." [Examiner]
After all these years, Bauer is still smitten with the "nostalgic, retro vibe" at Bix, remarking that "few restaurants can so capture an era yet still feel current." They make a mean cocktail, desserts are "simple, classic and satisfying," but the kitchen has slipped a little: "While the food is not as compelling as it was a few years ago, it's still very good and deserves the crowds it's attracted since the day the restaurant opened." That, friends, is what a three star Bauer review sounds like. [Chron]
THE ELSEWHERE: The second Thursday Chron review is a nice 2.5 star flirtation with Glen Ellen Star, The Merc slaps 3.5 stars on Livermore's Sauced, Marin IJ 's reviewer feels like she's time traveled at Villa York Pizza & Grill in San Rafael, and finally the EBX learns a lot about delicious, lesser-known Korean foods at Spoon Korean Bistro.
Moya. [Photo: Yelp/Ed U.]